Metra board member Stanley Rakestraw has submitted his letter of resignation to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, making him the fifth Metra board member to resign in the wake of recent scandals.
The resignation comes after the Tribune made inquiries to Metra and Preckwinkle regarding Rakeshaw's residency. Preckwinkle confirmed that he is not eligible to be on the board because he does not live in suburban Cook County.
In his five paragraph letter of resignation, released by Preckwinkle’s office, Rakestraw said that even though his longtime residence in Flossmoor was destroyed by fire, it was always his intent to rebuild and return there. But declining property values made rebuilding “economically unrealistic.”
Rakestraw said that he had informed Metra’s board counsel of his residency “and was repeatedly assured that, given my personal situation, my residency was not an issue.”
“My overriding concern is, and has always been, doing the right thing for Metra. That includes eliminating any potential controversy which distracts the board from its business,” Rakestraw wrote.
Rakestraw thanked Preckwinkle for the opportunity to serve.
In a statement Wednesday, Preckwinkle had said that when Rakestraw applied for the Metra post, he listed a Flossmoor address.
But "since he no longer resides in suburban Cook County, he is ineligible to serve as my appointment on Metra. As soon as I was notified of this fact, I requested Stan Rakestraw's resignation," she said.
Tribune reporting shows that Rakestraw had moved from south suburban Flossmoor two years ago this week after his upscale home on Cambridge Avenue was destroyed in a fire.
After the blaze, Rakestraw moved to a million-dollar condominium in a high-rise across from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. But Rakestraw continued to list the posh suburb as his residence, including on the ethics statement he filed earlier this year with the Cook County clerk's office.